August 14, 2021

THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO IS “JOIN[ING] THE NATIONWIDE EFFORT TO DECONSTRUCT ANTI-BLACKNESS [AND] DISMANTLE WHITE SUPREMACY”:  I received this invitation yesterday from my employer:

HUMC 294: Black Lives Matter: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Course

Course Description: Faculty across all academic units are invited to participate as instructors in an interdisciplinary 5-week class about the movement for Black lives. Drawing upon the expertise of scholars from the humanities, arts and architecture, business, engineering, education, and the social sciences, this course will consider this historical moment of social and political change. All USD faculty are encouraged to apply.

Heeding the call of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and global network, this course joins the nationwide effort to deconstruct anti-Blackness, dismantle white supremacy, center Black resistance, and build solidarity movements that support the wellness and self-determination of Black communities. The collaborative and team-taught course will not only contextualize the complex histories of Black people in the US but also center Black wisdom, joy, and antiracist praxis. It is our intention to reorient canon to recognize Black contribution; to learn about Black networks across the world and throughout history; and to imagine futures that support Black excellence. Students will be exposed to a range of interdisciplinary analyses of the movement for Black lives and engaged in critical, transformative reflection.

Compensation: Each faculty participant will receive a $600 stipend. 

Could a course description be any clearer that it is about inculcating and supporting a fringe ideology? The course description literally states that the course is part of a “nationwide effort to deconstruct anti-Blackness [and] dismantle white supremacy.” The problem is that you couldn’t find a white supremacist in these parts if your life depended on it.  These folks are barking mad.

The suggested topics for the sessions include “Black internationalism,” “Labor and U.S. Racial Capitalism,” “Black Epistemologies and Education,” “Environmental Racism,” “Black and Womanist Theology,” “Anti-Blackness in Science and Technology,” and lots more.  It’s hard not to wince while reading through all the neo-Marxist jargon.

By the way, as a result of the pandemic, the University of San Diego is so strapped for cash that it initially stopped paying into the retirement accounts of its faculty and staff.  At this point, it has re-evaluated and is paying 50% of the retirement benefits it used to pay. In effect, everyone, down to the lowliest assistant gardener, has received a pay cut. And guess who is harmed the most? The lower you are on the pay scale, the more it hurts when it comes time to retire and your nest egg is insufficient.  Recently the law school announced that under its new “fiscally prudent” policy, faculty and staff will even have to bring “their own coffee mugs, cutlery, dishware and condiments (i.e. coffee pods, tea bags, sweetener/creamer, etc.).” But never fear: There is plenty of money—ridiculous sums—to hire someone into the newly created position of Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. And there is plenty money for faculty stipends to “join the nationwide effort to deconstruct anti-blackness [and] dismantle white supremacy.”

I wonder when boards of trustees, parents and donors are going to get wise to the foolishness on college campuses these days. While I’m not what you’d call optimistic, I’m not willing to give up the fight.  I’ve been told I have an abnormally long attention span ….

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